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Royal Society of London investigates developments in neuroscience and their implications for society

A major new project, which will investigate developments in neuroscience and their implications for society, is to be carried out by the Royal Society, the UK's independent science academy, with the first of a series of five reports to be published in the Autumn. 

Module one of the Brain Waves project will be a broad assessment of the relevance of neuroscience to areas of public policy. This report will outline what we now know - and do not yet know - about the brain, the current state of technologies to study the brain, and the ways in which brain research might develop in the coming decades.

Neuroscience: insights for policy will address such issues as the ethics of neuroscience technologies and their commercialisation.  It will also discuss the benefits and risks of neuroscience for society, while reviewing past aspirations and failures in this field, as well as the popular perceptions and misrepresentations of brain research.  It aims to consider where neuroscience is heading and what the key areas for decision-making might be to maximise the benefits while minimising any risks for society.

The project is being led by a Steering Group chaired by Professor Colin Blakemore FRS. The project is expected to conclude in Summer 2011. Further information on the Brain Waves project can be viewed on

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